J Food Process Preserv. 2020;00:e14479. wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/jfpp
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© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC
1 | INTRODUCTION
The genus Pouteria belongs to the Sapotaceae family and it is dis-
tributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and America.
Many species are of commercial importance since they are used as
food and in traditional medicine (Silva, Simeoni, & Silveira, 2009).
One of the most studied species of this family is P. sapota (mamey)
which has been shown to be a source of many bioactive compounds
such as polyphenols, carotenoids, and tocopherols (Ma, Yang, Basile,
& Kennelly, 2004; Yahia, Gutiérrez-Orozco, & Arvizu-de Leon, 2011).
Other Pouteria species such as P. campechiana (canistel) (Costa,
Wondracek , Lopes, Vieir a, & Ferreira, 2010), P. viridis (Ma et al., 20 04),
and P. macrophylla (da Silva, Gordon, Jungfer, Marx, & Main, 2012)
have also been reported as rich sources of bioactive compounds.
Lucuma (P. lucuma) is a fruit native to the Andean region, found
in Peru and Chile; it can be cultivated from the sea level to an alti-
tude of 3,0 00 m.a.s.l (Jordan, 1996). It presents an ovoid or elliptical
shape depending on the cultivar, a diameter variable bet ween 7.5
and 10 cm, thin green or yellow-green skin and sweet yellow-or-
ange flesh (Yahia & Gutiérrez-Orozco, 2011). In Peru, there are two
Relevant physicochemical properties and metabolites with
functional properties of two commercial varieties of Peruvian
Diego García-Ríos1 | Ana Aguilar-Galvez1 | Rosana Chirinos1 | Romina Pedreschi2 |
1Universi dad Nacional Agraria L a Molina,
Instit uto de Biotecnolog ía, Lima , Peru
2Pontificia Universidad C atólic a de
Valparaíso, Escuela de Agronomía,
David Campos, Instituto de Biotecnología ,
Universidad Nac ional Agraria L a Molina, Av.
La Molina s/n, Lima, Val parais o, Peru.
Vicerrectorado de Investigación—
Universidad Nac ional Agraria L a Molina;
Fondo Nacional de D esarrollo Científico,
Tecnológico y de Innovación Tecnológica-
FONDECYT, Grant/Award Number:
124 -20 15-FO NDEC Y T
Two commercial varieties of Peruvian Pouteria lucuma fruits namely “Seda” and
“Beltrán” were characterized in terms of their physicochemical properties as well as
their primary and secondary metabolites content and profile. Free sugars, dietar y
fiber, and starch comprise the main components in both varieties. Phenolic com-
pounds derived from flavanoids (flavan-3-ols), gallic acid, and their derivatives were
identified. Xanthophylls were tentatively identified based on their UV-vis spectra and
enclosed the majority of the carotenoids found in lucuma. Additionally, both varieties
showed to be sources of lipophilic compounds such as tocopherols (α, β, and γ) and
triterpenoids. The triterpenoid α-amyrin was identified in a Pouteria fruit for the first
time. The in vitro antioxidant capacity (AoxC) of the lipophilic fraction represented
approximately 30% of the total AoxC. These results show that both lucuma varieties
are rich sources of compounds with technological and functional properties with po-
tential application in the food industry.
Lucuma is a characteristic Peruvian fruit. To date, it is mainly used by the regional ice
cream industry and it has been included recently in some confectionery products.
Due to its high dietary fiber, carotenoids and sugar content it could be used as an
alternative to the use of refined sugars and artificial colorants in the dairy and bakery
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GARCÍA-RÍOS et A l.
types of lucuma: "Seda" and "Palo." The "lucuma Seda" has a pulp
with a smooth texture when ripe, flour y, intense yellow color, soft
on the palate and sweet and it is suitable for consumption as fruit.
The "lucuma Palo," in contrast, when ripe has a pulp of hard tex ture,
not suitable for fresh consumption, which makes it more appropri-
ate for industrial processing (Sistema Integrado de Información de
Comercio Exterior, 2015). However, color, aroma and other thermo-
sensitive compounds could be affected in different degrees during
postharvest storage and/or processing conditions as consequence
of changes and interactions among the compounds present. Thus, it
is important to be aware of the components present to prevent po-
tential changes in the physicochemical, organoleptic and bioactivity
and control these changes during processing or storage.
Recently, lucuma has attracted the attention of consumers and
researchers bec ause it constitutes a source of various compounds of
interest for their antioxidant properties such as carotenoids and phe-
nolic compounds (Dini, 2011; Erazo, Escobar, Olaeta, & Undurraga,
1999; Fuentealba et al., 2016). To date, the characterization and
quantification of the aforementioned metabolites in lucuma have
not been fully completed. Also, no previous study has provided in-
formation about the content of tocopherols or terpenoids in lucuma.
Therefore, the objective of this study is to identify and quantify the
physicochemical characteristic s as well as compounds with bioactive
proper ties of lucuma fruits of two commercial varieties: "Seda" and
2 | MATERIALS AND METHODS
2.1 | Materials and reagents
2.1.1 | Fruit material
Two varieties commercially known as "Seda" and "Beltrán" from the
province of Huaral, Peru and purchased directly from a local pro-
ducer were used. The fruits were harvested at commercial maturity
(yellow peel coloration under the calix), transported to the labora-
tory and stored for 5 days at room temperature, until they reached
edible ripeness. Subsequently, they were peeled, lyophilized, and
2.1.2 | Chemicals
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), β-carotene, myo-inositol, phe-
nolic acid standards (ellagic and gallic), flavanones (hesperetin), to-
copherol standards (α, β, γ, and δ-tocopherol), α-amyrin, β-sitosterol,
and cycloartenol were purchased from Sigma Chemicals Co. (St.
Louis). Flavan-3-ols (catechin, epicatechin, gallocatechin, and epi-
gallocatechin gallate) and procyanidins (procyanidin B1 and B2)
were purchased from ChromaDex ™ (Santa Clara). Sugar stand-
ards: fructose, glucose and sucrose were purchased from Sigma
(Carbohydrates Kit, CAR10), organic acid standards: L-ascorbic,
citric, malic, quinic, succinic and tartaric were purchased from
Supelco (Kit 47264) and standards of methyl esters of fatty
acids (FAME Mix, 37 components) were purchased from Restek.
Acetone, methylene chloride, hexane, ethanol, anhydrous sodium
sulfate and HPLC grade solvents (acetonitrile, methanol, hexane)
were purchased from J.T. Baker, MS-grade methanol LiChrosolv®
from Merck. Sodium carbonate, sodium chloride, 2-propanol, and
Folin–Ciocalteu reagent were purchased from Merck. Glacial acetic
acid was purchased from Fermont and potassium hydroxide was
purchased from Mallinckrodt.
2.2 | Characterization and quantitative analysis
2.2.1 | Physico-chemical characteristics
Moisture, ash, lipid, and protein (N × 6.25) were determined ac-
cording to the AOAC (2007) methods. Moisture was determined in
both fresh and lyophilized pulp. Total dietary fiber and starch were
determined according to the AOAC method (AOAC, 2007), results
were expressed as g/100 g of DW. Soluble solids, pH, and titrat-
able acidity were performed following the methods described in the
AOAC (2007). Reducing sugars were determined as recommended
by Miller (1959) with some modifications and were expressed as glu-
cose. Color determination (L*, a*, and b* values) was carried out both
in the peel and in the pulp as the average of six measurements at the
equatorial region using the Konica Minolta Chromameter colorim-
eter (CR-400, Konica Minolta).
2.2.2 | Determination of sugars, sugar-alcohols
and organic acids
Sugars, sugar-alcohols and organic acids were extracted accord-
ing to Pérez, Olías, Espada, Olías, and Sanz (1997) with certain
modifications. Briefly, 0.5 g of lyophilized lucuma was extrac ted
twice with 25 ml of 95% ethanol for 10 min for each extraction.
The extracts were mixed and concentrated in a rotary evapora-
0.2 N H2SO4 containing 0.05% EDTA. Eight hundred microliter of
the solution was taken and injec ted into a Sep-Pak C18 car tridge
(WAT036905, Waters, Ireland), then eluted with 10 ml of 0.2 N
H2SO4. The content of sugars and sugar-alcohols was determined
following the method described by Campos, Aguilar-Galvez, and
Pedreschi (2016); while organic acids according to the protocol
described by Aguilar-Galvez, Guillermo, Dubois-Dauphin, and
Campos (2011). In both cases, a Waters 2695 Separation Module
(Waters) equipped with an autoinjector, a 2414 refractive index
and detector 996 photodiode array detector, respectively, and
the Empower software (Waters) were used. The results were ex-
pressed in mg/ g of DW.
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GARCÍA-RÍOS et Al .
2.2.3 | Determination of L-ascorbic acid
Sample treatment for the quantification of L-ascorbic acid was per-
formed as reported by Sánchez-Moreno, Plaza, de Ancos, and Cano
(2003) with some modifications. One gram of lyophilized sample was
homogenized with 10 ml of 3% metaphosphoric acid solution and 8%
aceticacidfor10min.Themixturewas centrifugedat2,795gat 4°C
for 25 min (Het tich, model MIKRO 220R). The extract was analyzed
by HPLC-PAD. A Prodigy ODS3 100A (5μm, 250 × 4.6 mm ID) col-
umn (Phenomenex) was used. The mobile phase was composed of
25 mmol/l KH2PO4, pH 2.5 at a flow rate of 1 ml/ min. Samples were
filtered prior to HPLC injection. Ten microliter of sample was injected
andrunfor15minat 40°C.L-ascorbicacidwas detectedandquanti-
fied at 245 nm. The results were expressed in mg/ 100 g of DW).
2.2.4 | Determination of fatty acids
The lipophilic fraction was extracted from 100 mg of lyophilized
lucuma and 500 μl of 96% methanol, 750 μl of Milli-Q water, and
375 μl of chloroform were added. The samples were sonicated for
30 min and then centrifuged for 10 min at a maximum speed. The
chloroform phase was recovered and the methanol/ water phase
was re-extracted with 375 μl of chloroform. The chloroform phases
were mixed and evaporated in a nitrogen-saturated atmosphere. The
fatty acid profile was determined according to the method proposed
by Meurens , Baeten, Yan, Mignolet , and Larondell e (2005) with slight
modifications. The fatty acids present in the residue were converted
to methyl esters and one microliter was injected in a gas chroma-
tograph GC-2010 plus Shimadzu equipped with an FID-2010 flame
ionization detector and AOC-20i autoinjector. The column used was
a Restek Rt-2560 (0.2 μm, 100 × 0.25 mm ID). The methyl esters of
the fatty acids were identified and quantified by comparing reten-
tion times with known and previously injected standards. The results
were expressed as a percentage relative to the total of fatty acids.
2.2.5 | Total carotenoids and profile
Carotenoid extraction was carried out according to the method re-
ported by Andre et al. (2007) with slight modifications. Lyophilized
lucuma pulp (0.5 g) was mixed with 5 ml of acetone: hexane (1:1, v/ v),
homogenized and stirred in an ice bath for 30 min. The extract was
centrifugedat2,795g for 15 min at 4°C, andthesupernatantwas
collected. The extraction was repeated in the cake twice for 10 min
each, maintaining the initial extraction conditions. The supernatants
were combined and evaporated to dr yness in a rotar y evapora-
tor at 40°C, and finally suspended in2 mlofacetone. Total carot-
enoids were determined by spectrophotometry (Genesys™ 20 Vis
Spectrophotometer, Thermo Scientific) at 450 nm and the content
was expressed in mg of β-carotene equivalents/ 100 g DW.
To determine the profile of carotenoids, saponification of the
extract was carried out, an aliquot of the extract was evaporated to
dryness with nitrogen, then re-suspended in 4 ml of methanol con-
taining 10% potassium hydroxide (w/v). The solution was allowed
tostand for 16hrinthedarkat4°Cina nitrogen-saturated atmo-
sphere and 4 ml of hexane and 4 ml of saturated NaCl solution were
added. The organic phase was recovered and the aqueous phase
re-extracted with hexane. Both organic phases were mixed, brought
to dryness with N2 and re-dissolved in 1 ml of methylene chloride:
ethanol (65:35, v/v).
The analysis was per formed by HPLC-PDA according to the
method of Kao, Loh, Inbaraj, and Chen (2012) with slight modifica-
tions. Spectral data were recorded from 330 to 550 nm during the
whole run. A YMCTM carotenoid (5 μm, 250 × 4.6 mm ID) column
was composed of solvent (A) methanol: acetonitrile: water (79:14:
7, v/v/v) and solvent (B) methylene chloride. The solvent gradient
was as follows: 5% B for 9 min, 5%–15% B in 14 min, 15%–17% B in
10 min, 17%–29% B in 2 min, 29%–30% B in 10 min, 30%–34% B in
21 min and returned to 5% B in 1 min and kept at those conditions for
5 min. A flow rate of 1.0 ml/ min was used and 20 μl of sample was
injected. Carotenoids were identified by comparison of retention
times and absorption spectra with data reported in the literature.
2.2.6 | Total phenolic compounds and profile
The extraction of phenolic compounds was carried out according
to the method proposed by Ma et al. (2004) with slight modifica-
tions. Half a gram of lyophilized lucuma was mixed with 25 ml of 80%
acetone and stirred for 90 min. Subsequently, the extract was cen-
trifuged at 2,80 0 g and stored in dark and nitrogen-saturated atmos-
determined according to the method of Singleton and Rossi (1965)
by colorimetric reaction with Folin–Ciocalteu reagent. The content
of TPC was expressed in mg of Gallic equivalent (AGE)/ g DW.
Phenolic profile was assessed following the method of Chirinos
et al. (2008) with slight modifications. Phenolic extracts were sep-
arated on HPLC-PDA. Spectral data were recorded from 200 to
700 nm during the whole run. An X-terra RP18 (3.5 µm, 250 × 4.6 mm
ID) column ( Waters) was used fo r separati on at 30°C . The mobile
phase was composed of solvent (A) water: formic acid (95:5, v/v) and
solvent (B) acetonitrile. The solvent gradient was as follows: 0%–15%
B in 40 min, 15%–45% B in 45 min, and 45%–100% B in 10 min. A
flow rate of 0.5 ml/min was used and 20 µl of sample was injected.
Samples were filtered prior to HPLC injection. Phenolic compounds
were identified by comparing their retention time and UV-vis spec-
tral data to known previously injected standards.
2.2.7 | Determination of tocopherols
Tocopherols were quantified and identified following the method-
ology proposed by Amaral, Rui, Seabra, and Oliveira (20 05). Half
a gram of lyophilized lucuma pulp was mixed with 100 μl of BHT
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GARCÍA-RÍOS et A l.
solution (10 mg in 1 ml of hexane), 2 ml of ethanol, 4 ml of hexane
and 2 ml of saturated NaCl solution. The mix ture was homogenized
for 1 min in a vortex and then centrifuged for 4 min at 2,505 gat4° C .
The upper phase was collected and the sample was re-extracted
twice with 2 ml of hexane. The extract s were combined and taken to
dryness with nitrogen and the residue was re-dissolved with 0.5 ml
of hexane. The extract was dried with anhydrous sodium sulfate
(0.5 g), centrifuged at 7,378 g for 2 min.
Samples were separated using a HPLC equipped with a Waters
2475 multi fluorescence detector. An YMC-Pack SIL (3 µm,
250 × 4.6 mm ID) column (YMC, Japan) was used for tocopherol
2-propanol/acetic acid (1000/6/5, v/v/v). A flow rate of 1.4 ml/min
under isocratic conditions was used. Ten microliter of sample was
injected. Samples were filtered prior to HPLC injection. The fluo-
rescence detector was programmed at the excitation and emission
wavelengths of 290 and 330 nm, respectively. Tocopherols were
identified and quantified by comparing their retention time to
known previously injected standards. Results were expressed as
mg/100 g of dry matter.
2.2.8 | Phytosterols and triterpenoids
The unsaponifiable extract was obtained according to the protocol
reported by Duchateau et al. (20 02). Twelve and a half grams of ly-
ophilized sample was mixed with 100 ml of hexane: acetone: etha-
nol (50:25:25, v/v/v) for 10 min under agitation and then 15 ml of
water was added and stirred for another 5 min. The lipid phase was
Hundred milligram of the lipid extract was saponified with 1 ml of
standard (β-cholestanol). The unsaponifiable fraction was extracted
by liquid–liquid partition with 1 ml of distilled water and 5 ml of n-
heptane. The n-heptane extract was recovered and the extraction
was repeated in the aqueous fraction t wice. The n-heptane extracts
were mixed and dehydrated with anhydrous sodium sulfate. Trace
1310 Gas chromatograph (Thermo Scientific, Rodano) was used,
coupled to a triple Quadrupole TSQ 8000 Evo Mass Spectrometer
(Thermo Scientific, using a TG-5SILMS column (30 × 0.25 mm ID,
0.25 μm film thickness) (Thermo Scientific). The chromatographic
separation was carried according to da Costa, Augusto, Teixeira-
Filho, and Teixeira (2010). The furnace temperature was programmed
volume was 1 μl with a split ratio of 10. The temperature of the injec-
spectrometric analysis, the ionization was performed by electronic
impact (EI) in a positive mode at 70 eV and detection by scanning in
the range of 45 to 600 m/z was performed. Compound identification
was performed by comparing retention times and mass spectra with
previously injected standards and by comparison with the NIST 2.0
librar y. The result s were expressed as μg/g of dry matter.
2.2.9 | In vitro hydrophilic and lipophilic
Antioxidant capacity (AoxC) was reported by the TEAC (Trolox equiva-
lent antioxidant capacity) test recommended by Arnao, Cano, and
Acosta (2001) in the hydrophilic and lipophilic extr acts, using the ABTS
reagent. The extracts were obtained according to the protocol of Wu
et al. (2004) with some modifications. The lipophilic extract was ob-
tained from 1 gram of lyophilized lucuma pulp, homogenized in 10 ml
of hexane: dichloromethane (1:1, v: v) in an ice bath for 15 min and then
centrifuged at 4,000 gfor10minat4°C.Theextractionwasrepeated
after recovering the supernat ant under the same conditions as the firs t
extraction. The supernatants were mixed and evaporated on a rotary
evapora tor at 40°C un der reduced p ressure. Fi nally, the dry ex tract
was re-suspended in 10 ml acetone and stored under a nitrogen at-
from the residue of the lipophilic extraction which was homogenized
in 20 ml of acetone: water: acetic acid (70:29.5:0.5, v/v/v) at room
temperature for 15 min. The extraction was repeated after the cen-
trifugation per formed under the same conditions as for the hydrophilic
extract. The supernatants were mixed and stored under the same con-
ditions as for the lipophilic extract . The results of both methods were
expressed in μmol of Trolox equivalent (TE)/ g sample (dry basis).
2.3 | Statistical analysis
Results represent the mean and standard deviation of three inde-
pendent experiments (n = 3). T- tests were performed with a 95%
confidence, using the Statgraphics Centurion X VI (StatPoint Inc.).
3 | RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
3.1 | Physico-chemical characteristics
The physico-chemical characteristics are shown in Table 1. The
moisture contents were similar for both varieties (p > .05), 56.2 and
56.9% for Beltrán and Seda, respectively. The result s are within
the humidity range reported by Erazo et al. (1999) in six selections
of Chilean lucuma (56.03 to 63.16%). The stage of maturit y at the
time of har vest and storage conditions can affect the moisture con-
tent of the fruit (Alia-Tejacal et al., 2007; Fuentealba et al., 2016).
In general, the moisture content of lucuma is lower than that of
other Sapotaceae such as mamey (75%) and sapodilla (82%) (Moo-
Huchin et al., 2014), although a moisture value of 49.5% in canistel
has been reported (Costa, Wondracek, et al., 2010). The total die-
tary fiber content was similar for both varieties (24.2%) and higher
than that reported in sapote (17.2%–21.5%) (Mahattanatawee et al.,
2006; Moo-Huchin et al., 2014). For this reason, lucuma is an op-
tion to meet the fiber requirements recommended for adult s by the
American Dietetic Association (between 20 and 35 g/day) (Marlett,
McBurney, & Slavin, 2002).
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GARCÍA-RÍOS et Al .
The starch content was significantly higher in Beltrán variety,
but the content of reducing sugars was similar for both varieties.
Controlling the content of sugars and starch is impor tant for the
conservation of the fruit because although it is possible to reduce
the starch content (therefore, increase the content of sugars), this
increase could result in an over-ripe and easily affected fruit (Eskin &
Hoehn, 2013). Seda presented an acidity (0. 28%) lower than Beltrán
(0.36%); both values were similar to those reported for mamey (0.2
to 0.3%) (Alia-Tejacal et al., 2007). However, the acid values found
were lower than most of those repor ted by Moo-Huchin et al. (2014)
for tropical fruits, which have contents in the order of 0.3 to 1.9%
acidity expressed as citric acid. No significant difference (p > .05)
was found in the pH values for both varieties. The content of soluble
solids was significantly higher (p < .05) in Seda (23.4%) than Beltrán
(21.7%). These values were similar to those reported by Alia-Tejacal
et al. (2007) for mamey (23%–27%).
Regarding color, differences were found in the peel of both vari-
eties, while the values of L* and b* were similar, differences for the
value of a* were encountered with positive values (red) in Beltrán
and negative values ( green) in Seda. Very marked differences in the
hue of the peel were found with yellow - orange for Beltrán and
green - yellow for Seda. The appearance of yellow-orange tones is
attributed to the synthesis of carotenoids, as the fruit matures, chlo-
rophyll degrades and carotenoids are synthesized (Eskin & Hoehn,
2013; Li & Yuan, 2013). These differences in peel color might suggest
that the synthesis-degradation balance of chlorophyll during ripen-
ing is different bet ween both varieties of lucuma. In contrast, the
color of the pulp showed no significant differences (p > .05) for any
of the parameters (L*, a*, b*). These values were higher than those re-
ported in mamey (Alia-Tejacal et al., 2007; Moo-Huchin et al., 2014).
3.2 | Determination of sugars, sugar-
alcohols and organic acids
Results corresponding to primary metabolites (sugars and sugar al-
cohols) are shown in Table 2. Most relevant sugars corresponded to
fructose and glucose. No significant differences in sugar contents
were found ( p > .05) for Beltrán and Seda, respectively with values of
fructose (155.9 and 136.9 mg/g DW), glucose (147.2 and 140.9 mg/g
DW), and sucrose (57.6 and 48.0 mg/g DW), respectively. The con-
tents of fructose and sucrose were higher than those reported by
Fuentealba et al. (2016) for lucuma biotype Leiva 1 (98.7 mg / g and
36.2 mg/g in DW, respectively); while the glucose content found in
this work was lower than that repor ted by Fuentealba (170.9 mg/g
DW). The composition of sugars in the studied lucuma varieties is
different from that reported in canistel where sucrose predomi-
nates (96.89 mg/g DW, Kubola, Siriamornpun, & Meso, 2011) and
in mamey where non-reducing sugars, such as sucrose, represented
more than 70% of total sugars (38.96–69.35 mg/g DW, Alia-Tejacal
et al., 2007). Myo-inositol was the only sugar alcohol detected;
TABLE 1 Composition and physico-chemical characteristics for
Beltrán and Seda lucuma varieties
Moisture1 (g/100g) 56.2 ± 3.7a56.9 ± 3.3a
Protein (g/100 g DW) 4.3 ± 0.02a5.2 ± 0.05b
Ash (g/100 g DW) 2.1 ± 0.08a2 .51 ± 0.04b
Lipids (g/100 g DW) 1.29 ± 0.06a1. 23 ± 0.03a
Total Dietar y Fiber (g/100 g DW) 24.2 ± 1.4a24.2 ± 0.7a
Soluble Fiber 4.5 ± 0.8 3.9 ± 0.5
Insoluble Fiber 19.7 ± 1. 2 20.3 ± 0.5
Starch (g/100 g DW) 15.6 ± 1.6a11.7 ± 0.5b
Reducing sugars ( g glucose/100 g
27.2 ± 1.7a23.2 ± 3.5a
Soluble solids 21.7 ± 0.6b23.4 ± 0.9a
pH 5.56 ± 0.06a5.49 ± 0.0 4a
Titrable acid (% of citric acid) 0.28 ± 0.01a0.36 ± 0.02a
L* 50.7 ± 2.7a46.2 ± 3.1a
a* 6.0 ± 2.5a−6.8±2.0b
b* 35.3 ± 5.2a22.3 ± 1.2b
L* 71.6 ± 2.3a69.2 ± 3.6a
a* 16.6 ± 3.0a13.9 ± 5.4a
b* 68.8 ± 3.2a52.6 ± 6.9a
Note: Dif ferent letters within the same row s tand for significant
differences (p < .05).
1Moisture measured on the fresh pulp.
TABLE 2 Content of sugars, myo-inositol and organic acids in
Beltrán and Seda lucuma varieties
Glucose 147.2 ± 18.5a140.9 ± 5.5a
Fructose 155.9 ± 16.7a136.9 ± 10.6a
Sucrose 57.6 ± 3.9a48.0 ± 6.7a
myo-inositol 5.7 ± 0.4b9.9 ± 0.5a
Citric 1.7 ± 0.1b3.4 ± 0.4a
Tartaric 0.55 ± 0.03b1.0 ± 0.2a
Malic ND 1.6 ± 0.2
Quinic 14.3 ± 0.7a14.9 ± 1.4a
Succinic 0.8 ± 0.01a0.6 ± 0.1b
L-ascorbic 0.68 ± 0.01a0.58 ± 0.02b
Note: Dif ferent letters within the same row s tand for significant
differences (p < .05).
Abbreviation: ND, non detected.
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the content in Seda was higher (9.9 mg/g DW or 4.3 mg/g FW)
than in Beltrán (5.7 mgg DW or 2.5 mg/g FW). These values were
greater than 2.1 mg/g DW and differed from the values reported by
Fuentealba et al. (2016) for lucuma biotype Leiva 1.
Organic acid profile and content are shown in Table 2. The high-
est content corresponds to quinic acid and similar contents of 14.3
and 14.9 mg/g DW (p > .05) were found in both varieties. For other
quantified organic acids, Seda variety had a significantly higher
concentration of citric and tartaric acid, while Beltrán had a higher
concentration of succinic and ascorbic acid, respectively. Malic
acid was only detected and quantified in Seda variety. In other
Pouteria species such as mamey, malic acid was reported as the
predominant organic acid (Alia-Tejacal et al., 2007). The greatest
difference obser ved bet ween Seda and Beltrán corresponds to or-
ganic acids linked to respiration (citric, malic and succinic) and can
be attributed to the environmental conditions in which the fruits
were stored after harvest, since the content of these acids tended
to decrease more rapidly at higher storage temperatures (Eskin &
3.3 | Determination of L-ascorbic acid
The content of ascorbic acid was significantly different between
Seda (0.68 mg/g DW or 0.29 mg /g FW) and Beltrán (0.58 mg/g
DW or 0.25 mg/g FW) varieties, respectively. These contents
were higher than that reported in lucuma Leiva 1 (0.19 mg/g DW)
by Fuentealba et al. (2016). Ascorbic acid contents in the range of
0.2–1.2 mg/g DW have been repor ted in mamey (Mahattanatawee
et al., 2006; Moo-Huchín et al., 2014). Pouteria species with the
highest vitamin C content reported correspond to P. macrophylla
with 2.5 mg/g DW (Gordon, Jungfer, Alexandre, Guilherme, & Marx,
2011; da Silva et al., 2012) and canistel with 1.9 mg/g FW (Kubola
et al., 2011).
3.4 | Determination of fatty acids
The content s of the dif ferent fatty acids are shown in Table 3. Both
lucuma varieties presented a similar profile of fatty acids. Within the
saturated fatty acids, the most representative was palmitic acid that
represents between 23% and 25% of total fatty acids. Among the
unsaturated fat ty acids, α-linolenic acid (ω-3) was the most abundant
and constitutes between 27% and 30% of unsaturated fatty acids. It
is important to point out that this fatt y acid is an essential nutrient
of the diet and plays an important role in human health due to its
association with the reduction of the risk of cardiovascular diseases,
cancer, osteoporosis, and immune disorders (Vilela et al., 2013). The
content of linoleic acid (ω-6) was very low with respect to total fatty
acids, possibly due to its oxidation and subsequent cleavage by en-
zymes lipoxygenase and aldehyde lyase, which convert this acid into
volatile components such as aldehydes and ketones, which contrib-
ute to the aroma profile in the mature fruit (Eskin & Hoehn, 2013).
3.5 | Total carotenoids and profile
Total carotenoid content was significantly higher in the variety
Beltrán (0.3 mg of β - CE/ g DW) than Seda (0.25 mg of β - CE/g
DW) (Table 3). These content s were similar to those reported by
Fuentealba et al. (2016) for lucuma Leiva 1 and greater than those
obtained by Erazo et al. (1999) who reported a range of 0.03–
0.05 mg of β - CE/g DW. In addition, the content of total carotenoids
is within the values normally reported for species belonging to genus
TABLE 3 Content of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids,
total carotenoids, total phenolic compounds, tocopherols and
antioxidant activity in two commercial lucuma varieties
Saturated fatt y acids (% of total
Lauric (C12:0) traces 2.9
Miristic (C14:0) 7.5 6.6
Pentadecanoic (C15:0) 3.6 5.4
Palmitic (C16:0) 25 23.4
Stearic (C18:0) 20 17. 7
Unsatur ated fat ty acids (% of total
Palmitoleic (C16:1) 2.5 1.9
Oleic (C18:1) 10 12.2
Linoleic (C18:2) 1.8 2.9
α-linolenic (C18:3) 29. 6 27
ω6/ ω3 ratio 0.06 0.11
Total carotenoids (mg β-carotene
eq/ g DW)
0.30 ± 0.01a0.25 ± 0.02b
Total phenolic compounds
(mg AGE/ g DW)
2.50 ± 0.11a2.38 ± 0.13a
Tocopherols (μg/ g DW)
α-Tocopherol 47.4 ± 1.6b59.4 ± 1.3a
β-Tocopherol 0.68 ± 0.01b0.75 ± 0.01a
γ-Tocopherol 7.1 ± 0.3 ND
δ-Tocopherol ND ND
(μmol TE/ g DW)
Hydrophilic 19.3 ± 1.3a17.3 ± 1.0b
Lipophilic 8.7 ± 0.1a7.4 ± 0.4b
Phytosterols and Triterpenoids
(ug /g DW)
β-Sitosterol 4.44 5.27
Cycloartenol 3.50 2.48
α-Amyrin 11.8 5 12.34
Note: Dif ferent letters within the same row s tand for significant
differences (p < .05).
Abbreviation: ND, non detected.
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GARCÍA-RÍOS et Al .
Pouteria such is mamey 1.44 mg of β - CE/g DW (Moo-Huchin et al.,
HPLC-PDA analysis allowed the separation of 10 carotenoids
(Figure 1), eight of which were identified by comparing their reten-
tion times and absorption spectra to those reported by Kao et al.
(2012). The main carotenoids found in lucuma pulp belong to the
family of xanthophylls. The epoxide forms such as neoxanthin and
violaxanthin were more abundant in the Beltrán variety. In contrast,
the Seda variety presented hydroxylated carotenoids (lutein deriva-
tives) as the most abundant carotenoids. Traces of β-carotene were
detected in both varieties; however, the presence of derivatives such
as β-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and violaxanthin would indicate that
the carotenoids in lucuma tend to accumulate in the form of xan-
thophylls (possibly esterified) rapidly as maturation progresses (Li &
Yuan, 2013). This process seems to begin even before reaching com-
mercial maturity, as reported by Fuentealba et al. (2016).
The nature of the carotenoids present in lucuma allows us to
infer that these components could be significantly affec ted by a
conventional drying process extensively used for lucuma flour elab-
oration ( Yahia & Gutiérrez-Orozco, 2011). Previous studies have re-
ported that hot air conventional drying significantly decreases the
total carotenoid content in the chips of sweet potato (Bechoff et al.,
2010). Most of the losses observed in sweet pepper during drying
corresponded to the xanthophils violaxanthin and zeaxanthin in ad-
dition to β-carotene (Topuz, Dincer, Sultan, Feng, & Kushad, 2011).
3.6 | Total phenolics compounds and profile
The TPC content in both varieties was similar, with 2.5 mg of
GAE/g DW and 2.4 mg of GAE/g DW for Beltrán and Seda, respec-
tively (Table 3). These values were higher than those reported by
Fuentealba et al. (2016) for lucuma Leiva 1 (0.7 mg AGE/g DM). In
mamey, values of 0.6 mg of GAE/g DW (Moo-Huchin et al., 2014) and
2.8 mg of GAE/g DW (Mahattanatawee et al., 2006) were previously
reported. Instead, in canistel a value of 5 mg of GAE/g DW (Kubola
et al., 2011) was reported and a much higher content (22.9 mg of
GAE/g DW) was reported in P. macrophylla (da Silva et al., 2012) and
up to 29.2 mg of GAE/g DW according to Gordon et al. (2011). This
variation responds to multiple factors both environmental and spe-
cific of the fruit, within the most important environmental factors
are the har vest season and location of the crop (Barceló, Nicolás,
Sabater, & Sánchez, 2009) while factors inherent to the fruit cor-
respond to the type of cultivar and maturity stage. Fuentealba et al.
(2016) observed a drastic reduction in the content of TPC in lucuma:
at harvest maturity (131.6 mg of GAEg DW), the fruit naturally de-
tached from the tree (45.3 mg of GAE/g DW) and then stored at
within the same cultivar or species (Barceló et al., 2009).
Regarding the nature of phenolic compounds present in lucuma
at edible ripeness, chromatographic analysis allowed the determi-
nation of eight main compounds in both varieties that showed a
similar phenolic compound profile (Figure 2). The majority of these
compounds were tentatively identified and quantified as the deriv-
atives of gallocatechin, epigallocatechin, catechin and epicatechin
(peaks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 9) based on their UV spectra. Other com-
pounds identified were gallic acid (peak 2), ellagic acid (peak 8) and
a derivative of hesperetin (peak 7). The nature of these compounds
was consistent with that reported by Fuentealba et al. (2016), who
identified gallic acid and a flavonoid derivative in the hydrolyzate
of lucuma phenolic compounds. Dini (2011) isolated and identified
gallic acid and complex glycosides of kaempferol in lucuma flour.
The latter, however, was not identified in the present study. The
occurrence of similarity bet ween the absorption spectra and the
difference between the retention times with respect to standards
could suggest that the lucuma phenolic compounds are probably
glycosylated to different types of sugars or in different positions
(Gordon et al., 2011).
FIGURE 1 HPLC-PDA carotenoid
profile obtained at 450 nm for the
varieties Beltrán (a) and Seda (b), tentative
identification and UV obtained data.
Identification was based on data reported
by Kao et al. (2012)*
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GARCÍA-RÍOS et A l.
The compounds found in this study are similar to those previ-
ously reported for other Pouteria species. In general, gallic acid,
catechins and gallocatechins are the most representative phenolic
compounds (Ma et al., 2004; da Silva et al., 2012). The authors point
out that the differences can be attributed to genetic variations, as
well as to the chromatographic conditions. Due to the complexity of
the phenolic compounds present in the samples, peak coelution is
possible during HPLC-PDA analysis.
3.7 | Determination of tocopherols
Αlpha and β-tocopherol were detected in both lucuma varie-
ties, while γ-tocopherol was detec ted only in the Beltrán variety
(Table 3). Αlpha tocopherol constitutes the most abundant tocoph-
erol in both varieties, being higher in the Seda variety. The sum of
tocopherols for the Beltrán and Seda varieties were 5.5 and 6.0 mg/
100 g DW, respectively. These values are comparable to those re-
ported in mango (1.2–9.4 mg/ 100 g DW). No δ-tocopherol was de-
tected; however, this tocopherol has only been reported in mamey
with a content of 0.36 mg/ 100 g DM (Yahia et al., 2011) and the
value was much lower than the total tocopherols found in the pre-
Although in comparison with other sources of tocopherols such
as oils and nuts, the total tocopherol content in lucuma is low; how-
ever, this fruit contributes a greater quantity of α-tocopherol, which
is the isomer of vitamin E activity. The presence, although at low
concentrations of other tocopherols such as β and γ-tocopherol in
the Beltrán variety, could increase its stability even more before ox-
idation with respect to the variety Seda. These isomers according
to Kamal-Eldin and Budilarto (2015) significantly contribute to the
oxidative stabilit y of foods.
3.8 | Determination of phytosterols and
Two phytosterols (β-sitosterol and cycloartenol) and one triter-
penoid (α-amyrin) were identified and quantified in lucuma pulp
of two varieties (Table 3). The concentrations of β-sitosterol for
Beltrán variety (0.44 mg/100 g DW or 0.19 mg/100 g FW) and
Seda (0.53 mg/100 g DW or 0.23 mg/100 g FW ) lucuma varieties
were lower than those reported in mango (23.7–69.2 mg/100 g DW)
(Vilela et al., 2013). Another phy tosterol detected was cycloartenol,
which was found in a higher concentration in Beltrán (0.35 mg/100 g
DW) than in Seda (0.25 mg/100 g DW). α-Amyrin was the triterpe-
noid detec ted in both varieties of lucuma and was present in higher
concentration than the phytosterols, with of 11.85 and 12.34 μg /g
DW for Beltrán and Seda, respectively. Its mass spec trum is shown
in Figure 3. Amyrins are secondary metabolites whose bioactivity
has been widely studied and they have been at tributed to antihy-
perglycemic and anti-inflammatory properties (Vázquez, Palazon,
& Navarro-Ocaña, 2012). To our knowledge, this is the first report
of α-amyrin in P. lucuma fruits. This triterpenoid and it s derivatives
have been detected in the fruits of P. caimito and P. tor ta branches
(Silva et al., 2009). In this regard, Fuentealba et al. (2016) repor ted,
FIGURE 2 HPLC-PDA profile for
phenolic compounds obtained at 280 nm
for the lucuma varieties Beltrán (a) and
Seda (b); identification and UV data for
the phenolic compounds
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GARCÍA-RÍOS et Al .
a significant in vitro antihyperglycemic properties which could be
related to this triterpenoid.
3.9 | In vitro hydrophilic and lipophilic
Significant differences (p < .05) in the lipophilic and hydrophilic AoxC
were found in the studied lucuma varieties (Table 3). Beltrán variety
displayed the highest lipophilic and hydrophilic AoxC with values of
19.3 and 8.7 μmol TE/g DW, respectively compared to Seda vari-
ety (17.3 and 7.4 μmol TE/g DW). At edible ripeness, the values ob-
tained were higher than those reported by Fuentealba et al. (2016)
for lucuma Leiva 1 (4.8 μmol TE/g DW) that coincides with the lower
TPC content also found by these authors (0.7 mg GAE/g DW) with
respect to the Seda and Beltrán varieties. With respect to other spe-
cies of Pouteria, such is mamey, Moo-Huchín et al. (2014) reported a
value of 15.75 μmol TE/g DW using the ABTS method.
The lipophilic AoxC is at tributed to compounds such as carot-
enoids and tocopherols. The greater AoxC determined in the Beltrán
variety can be attributed to its higher content of carotenoids and its
greater variety of tocopherols (α, β, γ). In the studied lucuma variet-
ies, lipophilic AoxC represents approximately 30% of the total AoxC
quantified with the ABTS method. Wu et al. (2004) reported that
the lipophilic AoxC determined with the ORAC method in 11 fruit
species represented less than five percent of the total AoxC except
in watermelon (13.4%) and avocado (28.6%).
Studies on lipophilic AoxC in other species of Pouteria are
scarce. Lipophilic AoxC values have been reported in mamey
determined with the DPPH (8.7 mg equivalent ascorbic acid
(AAE)/100 g FW) and FRAP (3.5 mg A AE/100 g FW ) methods
that represent less than 10% of the total AoxC (Yahia et al., 2011).
According to what has been reported in the literature, it is not pos-
sible to establish a conclusive relationship between the content
of lipophilic compounds with AoxC and the value of AoxC itself
(Arnao et al., 2001).
FIGURE 3 GC-MS chromatograms
obtained for phytosterols and terpenoids
for the lucuma varieties Beltrán (a) and
Seda (b). (1) β-sitosterol, (2) α-Amyrin,
(3) Cycloartenol, (*) Not Identified,
(IS) Internal Standard. α-amyrin mass
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GARCÍA-RÍOS et A l.
4 | CONCLUSIONS
Both varieties of lucuma showed to be important sources of dietary
fiber, starch, and sugar. Moreover, they presented interesting com-
pounds from a functional point of view. Beltrán variety presented
a higher total carotenoid content than Seda variety; however, the
carotenoid profile determined by HPLC-PDA was similar for both
varieties. Both varieties presented linolenic acid (ω3) as the major
fatty acid and the lipid fraction was characterized by a ratio ω6/
β-tocopherol was present in the same amount in both varieties,
while γ-tocopherol was only present in the Beltrán variety. Both va-
rieties presented similar amounts of phy tosterols and triterpenoids,
highlighting the α-amyrin that might be related to the anti-inflam-
matory and anti-hyperglycemic activities of lucuma. The AoxC, both
hydrophilic and lipophilic, was higher in the Beltrán variety. In both
varieties, lipophilic AoxC stood out, and represented approximately
30% of the total AoxC. These results show that lucuma fruits have
potential for an increased and broadened industrial use.
This work was supported by Vicerrectorado de Investigación—
UNALM ( Te chnological Re search UNALM-2015) and Fo ndo Nacional
de Desarrollo Científico, Tecnológico y de Innovación Tecnológica-
FONDECYT [grant number 124-2015-FONDECYT].
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors have declared no conflicts of interest in this article.
Diego García-Ríos https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0313-2573
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How to cite this article: García-Ríos D, Aguilar-Galvez A,
Chirinos R, Pedreschi R, Campos D. Relevant
physicochemical properties and metabolites with functional
proper ties of two commercial varieties of Peruvian Pouteria
lucuma. J Food Process Preserv. 2020;00:e14479. ht t p s : //d o i.
org /10.1111/j fpp.14 479